With their soft, buttery and delicate texture, madeleines are the perfect treat for tea time, even more if they're flavored with earl grey tea leaves. Their subtle citrus flavor will pair very well with your cup of tea (which may or may not be Earl Grey).
To my mind, the hump is the most important part of the madeleine, and not only for aesthetic reasons. That's where all the fluffiness is! As a kid, I used to bite into the hump first, happy to deliver my little madeleine from its heavy burden.
Making madeleines can be tricky and requires an intimate knowledge of your oven. The secret for a perfectly bumpy madeleine is to create a thermal shock by first chilling your batter and then, while they're baking, making a couple of precise temperature adjustments. This technique is initially inspired by the famous French pastry chef, Lenôtre. You might have to slightly adjust the times and temperatures mentioned in the recipe, based on your oven.
Most madeleines recipes call for brown butter, but after experimenting for a while, I found that using softened butter instead allows for a lighter texture. If, on the other hand, you prefer your madeleines denser, use melted butter cooled to room temperature. —Bee @ deuxdilettantes
In a mortar, grind the tea leaves into a fine powder. Combine with the sugar and, using your fingertips, rub until the sugar is fragrant.
In a bowl, beat eggs and flavored sugar with an electric mixer. Gradually add honey and whisk until the mixture is pale, thickens and doubles in volume - about 5 minutes.
Gradually add the flour, salt and baking powder and beat until the mixture is homogeneous. Finally, incorporate the softened butter. Cover the batter with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap against the surface to create an airtight seal and chill for at least 2 hours. This will allow the gluten to relax and give a light texture to your madeleines.
Preheat your oven to 460°F. Line the molds with butter and a dusting of flour. Don't fill the mold with too much batter; a tablespoon will be enough. Also, don't worry about spreading the batter evenly as the heat of the oven will take care of that. For even better results, you can chill the mold and the batter for 10 minutes in your fridge before baking them.
Bake for about 2 to 3 minutes, until you see a small depression, then reduce the temperature of the oven to 390°F. Cook for an additional 4 minutes (the hump should start to form), then reduce to 350°F and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, until the madeleines are golden and well rounded. In the end, your madeleines will cook between 10 and 12 minutes. Do not over bake or they will be too dry.
Unmold immediately and let cool on a rack. Make sure that for each new batch the pan is cool and properly buttered and floured.
They're best eaten slightly warm, direct from the oven and cooled for a few minutes. But you can store them for a couple of days in an airtight container.